TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili plans on setting up a new political party in the beginning of February, DF Watch was told by the Irakli Alasania, leader of the Free Democrats, one of four parties are affiliated with Ivanishvili.
Since the businessman lost his Georgian citizenship he is prevented from being involved in politics, due to legislation prohibiting non-Georgians from being involved in political processes and financing politics.
The president revoked Ivanishvili’s citizenship shortly after he said ht wanted to enter politics. This has been seen as many as an attempt to prevent him from achieving his goal.
The businessman took the decision to court, but lost when it comes to his own citizenship. However, the court gave back his wife Ekaterine Khvedelidze’s citizenship. Meanwhile Ivanishvili set up a new public movement on December 11, and it is expected that this movement will be transformed into a party, though Alasania doesn’t exclude setting up completely new party.
This will only be possible if the president grants Ivanishvili citizenship.
The businessman previously had Russian and French citizenship as well as Georgian. When announcing his decision to enter politics, he said he would renounce his citizenship of those two counties. The Russian one he has already renounced, and currently he is awaiting the cancellation of the French on too, after which he will be stateless.
In this case situation, the Georgian government will be forced by international law to grant him Georgian citizenship, because he was a Georgian citizen at birth.
Irakli Alasania assumes this process will be finalized at the end of January and says Ivanishvili’s new party will be set up in the beginning of February.